South Africa

Baby Jake was 'one of the best'

2013-12-07 22:11
Fikile Mbalula (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Boxing legend Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala made an impact on the lives of all South Africans during the healing and reconciliation process the country went through, Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Saturday.

GALLERY: Baby Jake in pictures

"His death came when the international community is paying their last respect to the greatest statesman to ever live, president Nelson Mandela.

"The sport fraternity has lost the little Big Man, who terrorised opponents in the ring. We are proud of the contribution Baby Jake made," said Mbalula.

"To his wife Ausi Mapula and two sons, we are grateful for sharing Baby Jake with us."

Mbalula said Baby Jake was one of the best athletes to ever come out of this country.

Matlala, a former boxing champion, died of a lung problem at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital at 11:00 on Saturday.

His funeral will be held at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg, Johannesburg on Friday.

Family, friends and fans of Jacob “Baby Jake” Matlala are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  boxing

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